With the Index open in front me, I laughed to myself. This demonic book is the answer to my prayers! In front of me is a contract glowing in a notorious shade of purple. To summarize what the contract requires of me, it essentially requires me to acknowledge that I am a free man, that I believe in a higher power (any, really...even myself if I believed myself a God) and that I am of sound moral character. The requirements seem vague, however. It's all the same, honestly and the fact of the matter is that this magical book essentially houses the knowledge stored in the Akashic Records.
The Akashic Records is essentially a compendium of every thought, knowledge and events that have happened, are happening and will happen. It was believed to be a theosophical concept in my world, nothing more than the ramblings of philosophers and their sophistry, however, it is here right in front of me.
The facts are this:
I need knowledge and sitting in front of me is the source of all knowledge however, nothing can be this convenient. A logical argument is that something important is required of me. Possibly, it could be something that would drain my life force every time I tapped into this aether of knowledge. Another possibility is requiring me to offer it a sacrifice every time I need to consult the void of all-knowledge. I decided to give it a try.
On a whim, I opened the book with the thoughts of wanting to know how it worked and like I guessed, it opened right exactly where I needed it. Rather, to be precise, the book is empty for all intents and purposes and only when the user is in need of certain knowledge does the book fill itself with text and if needed, illustrations. This much I guessed.
Written on the book is its usage and its requirements. Again, what I surmised earlier proved to be correct. It essentially confirms what I already know to be true.
1. The book is empty until it is needed and when it is needed, it fills itself with the knowledge that is required of it.
2. The book is a sentient being that chooses its owner, regardless of who the owner is. The requirements are vague for a reason and apparently, Man's knowledge of good and evil is irrelevant in the book's qualifications of who gets to own it.
3. Upon acceptance of the contract, the user and the book are bonded together spiritually until the user dies or until the book decides on a new owner. This seems like the most suspicious article in the book's how-to guide but more on that later.
4. The book consumes mana or in essence, life force, every time it is used. It only consumes what is needed and is in proportion to what is needed of it. For simple guides and instructions, the book will consume enough mana to require an hour's worth of rest.
If I were, for example, to attempt to summon a book like The Necronomicon which is used to summon such creatures of terror that even managing to summon one is enough to level an entire world, the book is going to suck enough mana to kill me and everyone around me.
Such books are temporarily disallowed until I have found a way to summon them without due consequence on my behalf. Of course, I would never resort to sacrifice or manipulation but there has to be another way.
5. Divining an event before it even happens falls on the same requirement as number four. For events that has already happened and are currently happening, the mana consumption is low but for events that are yet to happen, then the mana consumption would be significantly higher.
I guess that it works this way because of the multiverse theory. In order for a book to determine every possible outcome, the Akashic Records would probably have to run some sort of simulation in order for it to come up with the best and most plausible future currently available to the user.
Worth noting is the fact that while the knowledge is needed or if it has not been dismissed by the user then the facts will remain on the book. It will not expire nor will it change without the will of the user. This is a good thing because needlessly throwing away mana is unwise because of how important it is. It is essentially my life force after all.
6. In conjunction with number 6, the events that can be divined are restricted to the owner and the people around him with a direct relationship with him. Spouses, Parents, Siblings, Kin and Friends that are like siblings are counted here.
7. The book also gives a detailed instruction on how to recover mana. Essentially, mana is naturally recovered through rest, eating, passing the time with a hobby, learning and sex.
The others seem simple enough but the inclusion of sex confused me. Doesn't sex get you tired and sore? Well it makes a lot of people happy but yeah, tired. Assuming this works the way I think it works then is what's really needed the infusion or transfer of bodily fluids? The ancient settlers in my old world did believe in the consumption of their dead warriors. They believed that by consuming the flesh and blood of the warriors who have fallen, they will transfer the remaining life essence or life force into them. It's a wild theory at best but for now, it's something.
Moving forward, I turned the page with the intention of learning the basic concepts of magic and its application. To my non-surprise, the book provided me the knowledge I needed although I did feel the effects immediately. With fatigue crawling up on me, I looked to the window and noticed that the sky was tinged with orange, meaning it was almost night. I decided to at least learn the basics of magic and continued reading.
What I learned astounded me. Magic, in this world, is nothing supernatural or abnormal, in fact, it states in the book that magic is something that can be learned though some people are born with an affinity for it. What surprised me, however, is its application and its usage.
Magic can be melded into a physical object to imbue that object with its elemental properties and its effects. For example, if I were to meld thunder elemental magic into a firecracker, then that firecracker would not only explode but it would explode with an electrical effect with the potential to damage the people around it. Fascinating.
I learned basic alchemy so that I could manufacture gunpowder using the knowledge that I had learned from the flora and fauna book I learned earlier and I learned fire elemental magic. Of course, this is all theoretical knowledge and actually putting it into use is a whole 'nother story. As of the moment, I can only produce small sparks akin to the sparks produced by striking two flints against one another but for a three year old child, this is quite possibly the fastest rate of growth in recorded history.
I toyed around with the knowledge I had found from gunpowder and interestingly enough, it came with a spell.
|Skill Name:||Skill Rank:||Skill Level:||Skill Element:|
|Convert material to desired element or mineral. Rate of conversion is 3:1.|
and along with it came a table of possible conversions. Remembering the old steward that stood in our yard, I decided to look up the material conversion for Peppermint Leaves. After looking through the list, I realized how useful it was! Peppermint was actually considered some sort of Alchemy Wunderkind wherein it could be converted to basically anything!
Putting two and two together, I theorized that this land was probably the territory of some known magician or alchemist in the old days. In this humidity, who would even think of growing a tropical tree such as the Peppermint Tree? How does it sustain itself in this cold with this little sunshine? There are a lot of mysteries in the world and I can't even answer all of the questions that I have about my own home. Ironic but funny.
After getting a hang of the basics of magic and alchemy, I decided to go downstairs to try out transmutation for the first time. Passing through our furniture and our back door, I reached the Peppermint tree. As usual, its scent permeates my senses and I am enraptured in its freshness. I put my hand on the tree's bark.
Heron: Ah, you wonderful tree, how can I ever live without you?
Thinking back upon why I actually came here, I returned to my senses and started patting the tree.
Heron: Oh great tree, I am in need of your leaves for the advancement of my magical learning. Please allow me a few leaves from your great head.
A gush of wind caressed my face and I took that as an answer in the affirmative. I started climbing the tree and as I reached the apex (which is hyperbole, in this case as the tree is not that high) I sat on one of its many branches and took some leaves. This went on for some time and when I had my fill, I climbed down and sat at the tree's base, enjoying the shade that it provided.
I toyed around with the leaves and ground them into fine powder using the stones lying around our yard. I need to get a mortar and pestle soon but beggars can't be choosers after all. After grinding it into fine powder, I cast the basic spell for transmutation:
Idcirco praecipio tibi ut vertantur in pulverem magicae!
Suddenly, the finely powdered leaves started shaking and in a few short moments, it formed a black circle resembling a marble and then collapsed onto itself, turning into at least 3 milligrams of black powder. That many leaves amounted to only this much? I guess the price for transmutation is higher than I thought.
Speaking of which, how did I know such a complex and exact spell in the first place? I didn't. Funnily enough, majority of the magic in this world is apparently done in my mother tongue. I need to keep that in mind and keep my knowledge to myself. If I start rambling to myself in my natural tongue, who knows what kind of atrocity I could bring upon myself or the people surrounding me!
With the gun power (or magic black powder for the laymen) in my possession, I started wrapping it in simple parchment paper. With the amount I produced, it was only enough to create at least 3 small firecrackers but this was enough for my experiments, I think. After spending the next few minutes folding the paper to ensure that the precious black powder wouldn't spill or accidentally ignite, I then proceeded to make the wick from some dried leaves I found lying around. Naturally, fresh leaves wouldn't work due to the water still in them and for the leaves to act as a natural propellant, they had to be dry and well oxygenated hence, dry leaves exposed to the elements.
Spending the next few minutes like that, I found it enjoyable. Simply sitting while performing repeated movements was a good way to both rest and think while being productive. It was a different story if forced labor is brought into the discussion but this much was fine. After some effort, I finally completed my firecrackers! It was now time to meld some fire magic into them.
To imbue an object with magical energy, one must understand its basic components or how it worked, hence, only creators or engineers should be able to pull this off, unless one had an abnormal amount of intimate knowledge about how certain things are made. Luckily, I designed these firecrackers so I knew how they were made. Obviously.
What is needed is the careful transfer of magical energy into the object. For an exact spell or magic to be transferred or melded onto an object casting it without releasing it is key. The user must also transfer just enough energy at just the right rate. Too little and too slow will produce insignificant results and too much and too fast will cause the magic and the mineral or material to overlap and basically explode which wouldn't be nice.
I held my hand over the firecrackers and I proceeded to focus my energy into casting <Fire Spark> and after 3 minutes of carefully maintaining the best diarrhea face I could muster, I managed to successfully fire magic <Fire Spark> into the firecrackers! Of course I couldn't celebrate yet! I have to test it out!
I took a <Fire Elemental - Firecracker> and carefully aimed it at a nearby rock just outside our property and flicked it towards said rock. What happened next took me by surprise and made me happy. The firecracker imbued with magic collided with the rock and produced a significant explosion which left a small crater on the ground. Not enough to be fatal but just enough to cause enough noise and damage to make someone wet themselves in fear and admiration.
Proud of myself, I pocketed the magical items and took a nap under the tree. Today was a good day. I decided to name the combination Ikazuchi after a tribe in my old world's word for Lightning. It wasn't electric in the slightest, however, whenever you think of a mighty being smiting something, lightning is what you would imagine in your head. I just think that it fits!
<Ikazuchi Mk I has been developed!>
I really need to learn how to make tables. Can anyone point me the right way? Thanks! Hope you enjoyed the chapter!